The Scottish Approach to Patient Safety

eAlert a247df2a-3442-4bd2-99c8-c45af1491854

<p>Scotland is the first country in the world to mandate a structured safety improvement program for its health care system. Three years into the program, which has begun in acute-care hospitals, Scotland has seen significant progress, including a 7 percent reduction in hospital standardized mortality ratios and dramatic drops in hospital-acquired infection rates.</p>
<p>In a new <a href="/blog/2011/scottish-approach-patient-safety">blog post</a>, Derek Feeley, acting director of general health and social care for the Scottish government, and David Steel, formerly chief executive of National Health Service (NHS) Quality Improvement Scotland, examine the Scottish Patient Safety Program, which aims to reduce mortality by 15 percent and patient harm by 30 percent by the end of 2012.</p>
<p>"Two critical factors have driven the program's success: the strong engagement of frontline clinical staff and leadership provided by each NHS board," the authors say. "Strong leadership is backed by a culture in the NHS in Scotland that ensures that boards give priority to delivering nationally set priorities. But according to clinical staff, it is the program's close fit with their professional values and aspirations that has given it traction."<br /><br /></p>